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Toronto launches program to move homeless in encampments into hotel

A homeless person lies in a tent pitched in downtown Toronto on April 18 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The City of Toronto says it has secured hotel rooms for homeless individuals living in four encampments.

It says it has opened a temporary program at a downtown hotel with more than 250 rooms available.

The city says it is helping people move to the hotel from the homeless encampments at Moss Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Alexandra Park, and Lamport Stadium.

Encampments popped up last year, when the pandemic hit, after hundreds fled shelters for fear of contracting COVID-19.

There have been more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 linked to the Toronto shelter system.

The city, province and numerous agencies are currently carrying out a COVID-19 vaccination blitz for the homeless.